P4N – Projects for Ninfa – The water crisis of 2017 and the management of environmental systems

On 13 February 2019 a workshop on water crisis and its management occurred in the “Complesso Monumentale Tor Tre Ponti” (Latina), headquarters of Caetani Foundation.

We are proud of our students of the course “Produzione e gestione delle georisorse fluide”, who have presented the research works carried out during the semester under the guidance of Prof. Claudio Alimonti and Dott. Massimo Amodio, vice-president of the Caetani Foundation.

By virtue of the existing agreement between the Roffredo Caetani Foundation and the Pontine Pole of La Sapienza University, the Foundation has made available the “Giardino di Ninfa” Natural Monument as a “training ground” for students in order to study what happened during the 2017 water crisis.

The results regarded the analysis of the available data and the elaboration of possible models of the prevision and management of the water crisis. A group of students has analyzed the problem with a wide-scale approach considering the recharge basin of the Ninfa spring system and the possible interactions with the intake systems managed by Acqualatina. Another group faced the Pantanello park, which showed the heaviest signs during the crisis of 2017. The lakes system was modeled in order to predict critical moments and to make any decisions aimed at the system’s eco-dynamic conservation.

We believe that when the knowledge goes out from the university and it faces real problems of the territory, it is a precious opportunity both for the students, who have the chance to apply what they have studied, and for the community.



Hydrocarbons & Geothermics…our vision of the future

Global changes urge a radical transformation and improvement of energy producing systems to meet the targets of the European Energy Roadmap 2050: a secure, competitive and decarbonized energy system.

In this scenario a synergic integration of geothermal energy into the hydrocarbons fields could be a disruptive opportunity. on one side the oil&gas reservoir are not renewable and marked by high decommissioning costs. On the other side, the geothermal energy is sustainable and renewable but the cost of wells drilling is generally 50% of the field commission costs.

The opportunity is rapresented by the large amount of formation waters produced during the oil&gas extraction in the mature stage of hydrocarbons fields. those waters must be trated continuously and could not be released to the environment, but they presents often temperature greater than 50°C. Increasing the maturity of assets, the water production increases until a complete depletion of hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons fields could be converted into geothermal ones generating different positive consequences: increase of the share of renewable energy sources; no  the cost and the impact connected to drilling new geothermal wells; no decommissioning costs for oil&gas companies; opportunity to create a positive social response in the area where the oil and gas wells are located.

We will discuss our idea during some international conferences this year. If you want to see our progress keep following us…

If you want to read the Energy Roadmap 2050 use the following link:



Energy roadmap 2050

How the transition to renewable energies will change the global geopolitical equilibrium? IRENA tries to respond in the new report

Climate change requires, increasingly more strongly, to transform fossil fuel based energy supply into that based on renewable energy sources. This landmark transition will have consequences on the global equilibrium. New energy leaders will emerge, the energy independence of single states will increase, the distributed energy generation will reduce the energy request to the centralized grid systems. These and other effects will completely change the word as we know it today. The Global Commission on the Geopolitcs of Energy Transformation of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) describes the effects of energy transformation in the repost “A new world”.

Click here to read the entire report.


Geothermal research well at University of TU Delft

“You can do a lot with lab work and modelling, but at a certain point you really need to study what is actually happening in the ground. We need to check the models and the theory with a geothermal well in operation. Therefore, we came up with the idea of a Living Lab, a geothermal well that is not just producing hot water to heat our building on campus, but that serves as a research infrastructure at the same time”.

This is the idea of Phil Vardon,  Associate Professor at the Department of Geoscience & Engineering at TU Delft, in Netherlands. This idea is becoming reality, through the DAPwell project, the project of a geothermal well that will serve the heat for the campus buildings and will function as a living lab for scientific and educational purposes. DAPwell was first imagined by a group of TU Delft students in 2008. Now a project team is currently working on finalizing the business case and administrative issues.

If you want to know more, read the article.

Geothermal energy in Cornwall

Two wells have been drilled near Redruth, in order to produce geothermal energy from the hot rock of Cornwall. The wells are the deepest of UK (2,5 km and 4,5 km) and the power station may have the capacity of 3MW, which is about a third of a single modern offshore wind turbine or enough to power around 7,000 homes.

For further details read the article of The Guardian.

geothermal power from Cornwall's hot rocks

Gustavo Sclocchi Award

In order to encourage and reward university graduates, the SPE, EAGE and Assomineraria are pleased to announce the 26th Thesis Award.

All university graduates from Italian universities and Italian nationals graduated abroad, who will complete their studies or research in the period from November 1st 2017 to December 31st 2018, are entitled to submit their published thesis for the award.

The theses must cover subjects related to Hydrocarbon (from fossil sources and biomassess) and Geothermal Exploration & Production activities:

  • Geology, Geophysics and Formation Evaluation
  • Exploration, Production and Transport of Hydrocarbons (including LNG)
  • Health, Safety, Environment and Carbon Management and Neutrality
  • Renewable Sources and Energy transition
  • Green Refinery Feedstocks
  • Energy Economics & Management

The instructions for participation in the contest are reported here and in SPE Italian Section. Candidates must comply with the following deadline:

  • Contact Information and Abstract – deadline December 31rd, 2018
  • Complete electronic copy of the thesis – deadline January 5th, 2019
  • Graduation Certificate – before the Award Ceremony

Any questions can be addressed to: sclocchiaward.speitaly@gmail.com.


Scotland meet Italy visiting Piancastagnaio Geothermal Plant

On 31th of October, Hydrocarbons and Geothermal Workgroup had the pleasure to bring Sean Watson, a PhD student from Glasgow University, for a very interesting field trip to Piancastagnaio geothermal plant. Sean is doing a doctorate on the use of deep borehole heat exchangers for thermal uses, one our geothermal research sectors, so we are collaborating to improve the field.

The connection with Enel Green Power is a great opportunity for HGW and for our students; thanks to the openness of the Enel staff, we had the chance to organize different field trips to the geothermal plants since 2016.

Wednesday, Ing. Paolo Orsucci has guided us in the tour of Piancastagnaio PC3 power plant (20MWe), explaining all the processes that involve the production of electricity in the geothermal power plant and the thermal uses of the fluid. The PC3 plant is part of the geothermal area of Amiata; between 2011 and 2013 Enel Green Power carried out a total restyling of the plant which included the installation of the AMIS facility for the abatement of non condensable gases and mercury. The plant provides heat for the greenhouse crops of Floramiata, and several companies and farms near the geothermal area. The geothermal resource offers several types of applications, depending by the requested temperature, and it is very interesting to understand how the technology is studied and adapted to the specific final use in order to find the better solution.

HGW thanks the Enel staff and especially Ing. Orsucci for the time he has dedicated to us.

If you want to visit the geothermal power plants, let’s check of the “Centrali aperte” days of Enel.